Is The Chevy Equinox The Affordable EV We’ve Been Waiting For?

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The Chevy Equinox EV presentation that I recently attended in Michigan emphasized the value of GM’s new crossover. In this piece, I compare the Chevy Equinox EV to its leading competitors.

Chevy’s Presentation

GM executives made the point that the reason they were coming out with the Equinox EV, Blazer EV, and Silverado EV is that those are the 3 segments most likely to consider an EV and also Chevy’s largest segments. They are making products that fit with their traditional value image and branding. I agree the Equinox EV and Blazer EV fit in their value brand. I’m not sure the Silverado EV offers that same attainable value since the available model costs almost $100,000.

The car has the performance, range, safety systems, technology, and modern design to compete with the other EVs. They have nothing comparable to Tesla FSD (Supervised), but many people are not interested in that.

They are very aware the Chevy Equinox is value priced for an EV with over 300 miles of range, as the chart above shows. They didn’t include the Nissan Leaf, but the Equinox is actually a similar price to the Leaf and so much better in range, room, battery cooling, charging speed, NACS compatibility (later this year), and style that they really aren’t in the same class.

The 1LT model will have manual-adjust front seats and be missing some nice features, like heated and cooled seats, but many people have been asking for a more affordable EV and I think the base model will be popular as long as it is made in volume.

I told them this chart is missing the newly available Tesla Long Range RWD, which at $38,880 (after the federal EV tax credit) and 320 miles of range is only $3,085 more than the 2LT Equinox without the the $2,700 Super Cruise package (and Tesla includes the slightly inferior base Autopilot features for free). The Tesla also includes the option to rent or buy FSD if desired. Tesla previously heavily discounted the Model Y; now they offer 0.99% financing (worth maybe $5,000), so Chevy needs to come out with the 1LT in volume in order to realize the $10,000 price difference that will attract buyers from Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia, especially as Hyundai and Kia open their US manufacturing plant later this year, allowing them to offer qualified buyers the $7,500 federal tax credit without having to lease the car.

You can see that they plan to market the car to traditional Chevy buyers and are also attempting to gain share from other brands.

I think the lack of having LFP batteries will hurt GM if they don’t develop a plan to acquire them. Although other manufactures are also missing these batteries, they are scrambling to get them from a domestic supplier, since they are more affordable and the preferred technology in this segment.

I don’t find the lack of a frunk a major issue. I rarely use the frunk in any of my family’s Teslas.

I found the screen high quality and responsive. I thought the Equinox has a good mix of physical controls and things controlled by the touchscreen. Its menus were easy to understand.

They let us both drive and ride with their professional drivers on a closed course with some Blazer EVs that had been modified to be police cars. They performed very well and I enjoyed both driving them and riding in them doing aggressive maneuvers. They are working to get them certified for police use around the country. Although I don’t think they are necessarily better or worse than a Tesla Model Y, I think they will sell better, since police departments are comfortable buying Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge vehicles and not really used to buying Tesla police cars.

Alex Calls It A “Totally Normal” EV, And I Agree

The above video is worth the 12 minutes if you want to learn more. Some highlights from the video:

  • He compares it to the Blazer EV’s interior and notices the Equinox EV has more cargo room with the rear seats in place but less back seat room. The Equinox EV has FWD and AWD options, while the Blazer EV has more powerful RWD and AWD options.
  • No NACS adapter, but promised adapters this year.
  • 150 kW peak charging, which isn’t as fast as Kia, Hyundai, or Tesla.
  • No glass roof, but he likes it (I do too).
  • Car has decent legroom and headroom with rear air vents and USB-C ports.
  • Car doesn’t use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. That bothers a lot of people (but I’m used to it, since Tesla also rolls its own system).
  • He praises the Super Cruise system as the best hands-free driving system. That may be technically true, but GM’s system doesn’t even attempt to do many things (like stoplights, stop signs, turns, & parking lots) that Tesla FSD has done (imperfectly) for a couple years.
  • He concludes the big thing is the price tag of less than $28,000. This isn’t the small crossover EV, but the small compromises are very reasonable considering the starting price is about $10,000 less than the aforementioned leaders (Kia, Hyundai & Tesla).

A Question From A Friend That I Asked

Steven Day: “Production expectations. It can get 1,000 miles of range and charge in 5 minutes, but if they’re making 500 a year, that’s doesn’t help the EV movement. I suspect they’re losing piles of cash on it, and it will be made in Hummer EV numbers to keep the bleeding down. People will point at it and say it’s superior to Cybertruck, Rivian, Lightning, etc. by the numbers and hold off on buying anything else. But if it only exists on paper….”

I got to ask about this and they said they want to produce between 200,000 and 300,000 Ultium-based EVs a year at GM. They wouldn’t comment on the split between the models, but I was impressed with that goal, which is about 4 times what they sold in 2023, even with their very affordable Bolt. Now let’s see if they can deliver on that projection.  I also asked about the profitability of the vehicles. They replied that they expect them to cover the variable costs by year end. I know (if they make that goal) that they won’t have any incentive to cut production to cut losses. Why? Because if you are covering your variable costs, even if you are losing money on your EVs, you are losing slightly less for every additional vehicle you sell. Accountants call this the contribution margin.


I think Chevy has a winner on its hands with the Equinox EV 1LT, which has an amazing value. I think the higher trims may have to offer some incentives to gain share in this ultra-competitive segment, since Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia offer compelling vehicles for similar prices.

Disclosure: I am a shareholder in Tesla [TSLA], BYD [BYDDY], Nio [NIO], XPeng [XPEV], Hertz [HTZ], NextEra Energy [NEP], and several ARK ETFs. But I offer no investment advice of any sort here. General Motors covered my travel expenses to show me several new products (GM Energy, Equinox EV and Silverado EV RST First Edition.

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Paul Fosse

I have been a software engineer for over 30 years, first developing EDI software, then developing data warehouse systems. Along the way, I've also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and do portfolio management. In 2010, I took an interest in electric cars because gas was getting expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and took an interest in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla referral code:

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